A Special New Year’s Wish For Friends

And so may a slowWind work these wordsOf love around you,An invisible cloakTo mind your life.“A New Year Blessing” - John O’DonohueBenedictus (To Bless The Space Between Us)

And so, here we are again, on the cusp of a new year, and I have been wondering what to write today. I could wish all of you who have had troubles this year, an easier year in 2017 – and of course I do wish that for you all; but as you so well know, life doesn’t always work out that way for us, despite all our wishing.

The opening line of M. Scott Peck’s timeless book, The Road Less Travelled, is “Life is difficult.” Once you can accept that, life becomes a lot easier, doesn’t it?  But the problem is, most of us don’t accept that. We think that  if we can bend ourselves or others to our will, then life will be the way we want it to be. We desire so much to be in control of our lives, and the people and circumstances around us. For those of us who have had a serious illness such as cancer, we learn pretty quickly that life doesn’t work like that. For those of us who have lost loved ones, life certainly doesn’t work like that. And yet, despite all evidence to the contrary, in the words of Sufi master, Hazrat Inayat Khan, “walking on the turning wheel of the earth, living under the ever-rotating sun, man expects a peaceful life.”

So my New Year’s wish this year is that I can learn to let go of demanding that life be predictable, easy, peaceful and conformed to my will. Instead, may I learn to welcome change with a willing and open heart. It’s not going to be easy but if you want to join me in this, I have been inspired by the words one of one my favourite authors, Elizabeth Lesser, on accepting change.

Since we live in a changing universe, expect change. Good change, difficult change, destructive change, transformative change. Try not to fight change. Make unconditional friendship with it, in whatever form it arrives.There is so much more to this life than we can ever understand through our tiny brains and fearful hearts.

So, as we drop this year, with all its past sadness and loss, joys and triumphs, into the past, it is for me, neither a beginning nor an end, but a moving forward with all the lessons I have learned. G.K. Chesterton wrote that it is not that we should have a new year, but “it is that we should have a new soul and a new nose; new feet, a new backbone, new ears and new eyes”.

And so this New Year’s Eve, I wish you all new ears to hear what you need to hear; new eyes to see the beauty in the ordinary and the potential in your life; new feet to take you where you need to go; and a new backbone to give you the strength to cope with life’s challenges. And as another new year unfolds may you have a new heart and soul to welcome it with openness, peace and love. Most of all, may we continue to support and comfort each other on our journeys, whatever they may take us in the coming year.

And so may a slow
Wind work these words
Of love around you,
An invisible cloak
To mind your life.

“A New Year Blessing” ~ John O’Donohue
Benedictus (To Bless The Space Between Us)